I always say that cooking at home is faster than takeout, which I still hold as true, but the main reason to do it is so that you control the ingredients. Chinese food has been notorious for MSG in the past and many chinese joints now claim “MSG free” but guess what, when MSG comes out, other stuff goes in. Namely added table salt and other miscellaneous flavorings. Then of course, is the quality of the meat they use. Do you think they are sourcing free range chickens? Are they even sourcing quality meats at all? What about the oils they are using. Typically restaurants use vegetable oil or peanut oil- both of which are damaging to the human body. In the recipe below, we start out with healthy coconut oil instead.
Tonight my 9 year old daughter was my sous chef, helping me gather ingredients, chop, and stir. Don’t be afraid to get your kids in the kitchen with you. It only took us 30 minutes to make everything. Takeout isn’t even that speedy. If you are too tired or busy during the week- make a couple of dinners on Sunday so that they are ready to go. Always make a little extra to use for lunches the next day.
Here is what we threw together for dinner tonight. Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you. Most of them are staple items that you should have on hand- no special trips to the grocery store. And the cool thing- no premade bottled sauces. This is from scratch!
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 lbs organic chicken – cut into 1″ cubes
1 organic red pepper (peppers are notoriously pesticide laden-go organic), chopped
1-2 teaspoons chili paste (check ingredients). Spice it up to your liking.
5 large mushrooms (optional- I chop them into a fine dice to get them past my kids)
1 small can water chestnuts, cut in fourths
Fresh ginger, grated w/ a microplane (about 1″ of a piece of ginger that has been peeled) NOTE: keep your hunk of ginger in the freezer in a ziploc bag. It is easy to peel and grate and it will last almost forever!
2-3 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press or finely diced
1/2 – 1 cup organic chicken broth
1/2 cup tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet (no teflon :)). When hot add the chicken and the red peppers in the pan and DO NOT TOUCH. Let it sit until it browns then stir. Cook until chicken is cooked through and remove from the pan.
Add the chicken broth, chili paste, tamari, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil and stir to combine over low heat.
Add in the mushrooms and water chestnuts and stir to combine.
2 cloves whole garlic
4 slices fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
sliver of onion
5 1/2 cups (approx. 46 ounces) free-range chicken broth
1/3 cup brown rice vinegar + 1 teaspoon, divided
1 large free range egg
1 large free range egg white
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Ground white pepper and sea salt to taste
Smash the garlic cloves and ginger to release flavor with the side of a large knife. Crush white peppercorns with a heavy pan on a cutting board. Tuck the garlic, ginger, onion slice, and peppercorns into a tea infuser or cheesecloth bag and place it in a saucepan with the chicken broth and 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar. Boil for about 15-20 minutes.
Whisk the egg, egg white and 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar together in a small bowl. Pour in a steady stream of the rice mixture into simmering soup while stirring.
Remove from heat and add in the sesame oil and ground pepper and salt.
I hope you enjoy this easy dinner that will rival any takeout!